Lesnes volunteers start summer heathland work

Lesnes Abbey Conservation Volunteers began their summer programme of work on the rare heathland habitat in the woods on Sunday 15th June. This is the only Heather-dominated heathland left within the Borough of Bexley, and needs managing to prevent the Heather being swamped by Bracken, Bramble and tree seedlings.

Heather patch prior to weeding out Bracken

Heather patch prior to weeding out Bracken

Birch seedling coming up amongst heatheri

Birch seedling coming up amongst heather

Bracken is hand-pulled, and after a few years does weaken. Indeed several patches of heather along the southern margin of the heathland have been ‘recovered’ over the last couple of years from areas that were becoming a forest of Bracken and tree saplings .

Removed material piled up by 'weeded' Heather patch

Removed material piled up by ‘weeded’ Heather patch

The work opens up the ground for finer grasses and mosses, and creates the required conditions for reptiles and heat-loving species of insect and spider.

Kim Ilsey clears Bracken on the heathland

Kim Ilsey clears Bracken on the heathland

Some Common Darter dragonflies were already on the wing. A couple of Slow-worms were seen and the relatively wet conditions of late had produced a few fungi. Bryony Ladybird was found on its host plant White Bryony down near the Abbey.

Slow worms, a kind of legless lizard, were found in the woodland

Slow worms, a kind of legless lizard, were found in the woodland

 

The fairly moist ground conditions had brought out a few fungi, like this one under a Rowan seedling

The fairly moist ground conditions had brought out a few fungi, like this one under a Rowan seedling

To find out more about the work of LACV and to get involved see:

http://www.lacv.btck.co.uk/

 

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